Structure: It is anticipated that the MRI will substantially retain the same structure, with a lead Data Analyst backed by graduate level student support. The exact position description is in review within SOU HR Department and is being evaluated with consideration of potential funding and expected demand variables.
1) The MRI traditionally has delivered market research reports to the Network’s advisors by request, attempting to remain within a 5 hour research effort per request. Once we have the new draft contract with OBDD, we will review it with an eye to maintaining this practice for original market data acquisition and report delivery as before, using a combination of data sources. We are currently having internal discussions regarding this practice, as we routinely spend more time and effort than was originally forecast. Nonetheless, the goal of providing this free service to SBDC clients across the state remains the same for this level of service.
2) In response to requests for program additions, we are working upon a new process for working with client businesses. We are working towards having zoom conferences or phone conferences at intake and report delivery to improve communications and provide a richer communications channel than a fillable form can provide by itself.
3) By request, we are working upon adding primary market research to our capabilities – original research backed by available data – to provide a customized research capability that, I believe, is cutting edge for client business capacity and market building. We are entering a beta phase for this service, with much work to be done regarding costing the service, defining our capabilities to produce the requested information, setting-up contracts and systems within the SOU guidelines, and determining how to work with an expected variable workload. These services will be on a contracted for-pay basis, contracted in advance with a negotiated scope of work, as the core grant does not have the legs under it to support these additional activities.
We are in a state of flux with Ryon Pool coming on board post-graduation of his MBA, succeeding Eunice Gois who has been the principal researcher for 2.5 years. Eunice is returning overseas, after coming here for her Master’s work at SOU several years ago. I will be interfacing for the MRI; Jack Vitacco remains with our center as advisor and for special projects on a limited basis.
Marketing: We are in the process of starting the development of new marketing materials for your centers to have on hand, with an expected delivery of those materials to you this fall.
We are working upon models regarding intake procedures. We have received some feedback from you and your staff people, any and all additional feedback is appreciated. The intent is to leave your clients with your centers, but we will probably be requesting access to CIC for the client so we can log-in as a guest advisor to record notes. We are also experiencing difficulty with data retrieval from client businesses regarding how we have improved their operations as a result of the use of MRI services. I’d appreciate your assistance with how we can structure the process so we can retrieve pertinent data for reporting purposes, while not compromising any impacts you are collecting and reporting. As a first step, the draft revised client intake form is attached for your review and comments as you desire to make.
Contacting the MRI: Please start using: firstname.lastname@example.org for correspondence with the MRI. We are establishing a physical presence for the MRI within our office, taking it away from being solely a virtual organization, as we anticipate increased needs for connecting with additional resources in the future.
When doing any form of market research, be sure to utilize the three C’s: